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Kelley 09-08-2012 03:01 PM

Iron deficiency?
 
3 Attachment(s)
I'm trying to decide what I need to do to help my plants. Everything looked really good untill about 2 months ago. Then the anubius started getting yellow. I thought this might be because of the extra sunlight I get during this time of the year. But then it started having more yellowing and the sword started doing the same thing. This tank has been up for a little over a year with Eco complete so I thought made the substrate had lost it's nutrients. I added Florish tablets to the substrate a month ago, but I see no change. I dose no other fertilizers. Prior to the root tabs, I dosed Florish compresensive once a week for 2 weeks but I had increased algae and stopped the dosing.

I have done some research and think it may be an iron or potassium deficiency. Any one that could take a look and let me know their thoughts would be much appreciated as this is my 1st planted tank.

Attachment 64111

Attachment 64112

The above 2 photos are current pictures. The one below is of the anubius in Feb when it looked good and actually bloomed. Didn't even know they could do that.

Attachment 64113

Byron 09-08-2012 08:33 PM

It is a nutrient deficiency, but likely fairly complete, by which I mean not just one or two nutrients.

Plants take up nutrients via the leaves and roots; some nutrients can only be assimilated via the leaves. So the first fertilizer than should be used in one that goes into the water column directly, not the substrate. Flourish Comprehensive is one such fertilizer, and you should add it at least once and perhaps twice weekly. There is sufficient iron in Flourish to provide what plants need without adding more, which in fact can cause other issues.

The one or two doses depends upon other sources of nutrients, which include tap water (at water changes) for the hard minerals and fish food which becomes organics in the substrate via waste.

Eco Complete is not going to benefit plants that are not rooted in the substrate, such as Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, floating and many stem plants. Nor will it help with those nutrients that must be taken up by leaves via the water, such as potassium. In my experience, these enriched substrates are of little benefit even to substrate-rooted plants, but I won't go into that here.

My advice is to add Flourish Comp at least once weekly. I don't know your tap water GH, but if this is at say 5 dGH or higher, that will take care of hard minerals with a weekly water change of 1/3 to 1/2 the tank volume.

As for algae, if it is one of the green/red forms, it is due solely to excess light beyond what the plants can use due to insufficient nutrients. There must be a reasonable balance. I know we often think we need to reduce fertilizers to combat algae, but in almost all cases this is only going to make it worse because it is depriving the plants of the essential nutrients. Reducing the light is the way to deal with algae issues.

Byron.

Kelley 09-08-2012 10:32 PM

Thank you Byron. I will go back to the Florish Comprehensive. I have read over and over that the light is causing the algae, but it happen at the same time as when I add the Florish so I got scared it was that and stopped it. I had very little algae prior to that, but when the Florish was added it covered the front glass, but hasn't came back sinse I removed it. My lights are one 6 hours a day, I will see what I can do about blocking the sunlight. It should start getting better now that the days are getting shorter.

Thank you again for the advice.

Boredomb 09-08-2012 11:42 PM

I have my tank infront of my living room window and keeping them closed all the time isn't a option with my wife. I would always get algae in my tank like crazy in the summer time. What works for me is that I put a background on the back of the tank plus I had to cover the top behind the lights. This stopped my extra light problem and my algae problem as well. I don't know who your tank is sitting or where but this might be an option that would work for you.
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Byron 09-09-2012 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelley (Post 1235184)
Thank you Byron. I will go back to the Florish Comprehensive. I have read over and over that the light is causing the algae, but it happen at the same time as when I add the Florish so I got scared it was that and stopped it. I had very little algae prior to that, but when the Florish was added it covered the front glass, but hasn't came back sinse I removed it. My lights are one 6 hours a day, I will see what I can do about blocking the sunlight. It should start getting better now that the days are getting shorter.

Thank you again for the advice.

There is quite a complex relationship going on in an aquarium, with water chemistry and nutrients and light. So it is very possible that adding nutrients can trigger algae, but again it is not the nutrients directly but the light. The plant species and number also play into this equation. The aim, which often has to be reached over several weeks by simple experimentation, is to have light and nutrients in balance sufficient for the plants, and no more.

Six hours is about the minimum you want to go with tank lighting for plants. So my question now is, what is the light (be specific)? And would a photo of the tank be possible, so I can see the extent of the plants?

Byron.

Kelley 09-11-2012 12:07 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I have 1 T-8 Flora Sun bulb. I did have two in the beginning but the algae was out of control so I removed one bulb. I also tried out different lengths of time for the lights but 6 hours seemed to work so that's where I left it. I believe I started out at 10 hours. Everything seemed to be balanced to me until about 3 months ago when the Anubis, which has been in the tank since day one, started getting yellow. I did not use any fertilizer during the time I thougth the tank was balanced.

The bulb is a year old. Should it be replaced?


I have Crypt Balansae, Anubius Nana, a larger abubius (can't think of the name), Crypto Wendtii, smaller crypts (never knew name), various swords and jungle val. The Jungle val was the last planted added, it was added on 7-11-12. Everything seems to be putting on new growth.

Byron 09-11-2012 01:10 PM

That info and photos helps. Plants are not looking bad, except for the yellowing leaves of course. The algae is confined to the glass, and this is solely light-related. The tank light combined with room light. I wouldn't at this stage reduce the light further. But one suggestion is to clean the glass (what you can see and easily reach) at each water change using one of those sponge scraper things. I do this on the front glass of every tank each week, and often on the rear and side glass depending, although I seldom see anything; but this ensures I remove the near-invisible beginnings of algae that will otherwise appear and spread on the glass. This is natural. In most of my tanks I can see this on the sides and back if i look for it and where i don't get with the sponge/scraper.

Second item is the light. T8 tubes should be replaced about every 12-18 months. Some will say you can go up to 3 years with the newer T8 tubes which are more efficient than the older models, but I have found 18 months is about max. You can actually see algae increase when the light weakens to the point where it is no longer sufficient for the plants. And while the existing tube may seem just as bright, as soon as you replace it you will see a marked increase in brightness.

I would also suggest a 6500K tube. The FloraSun I am assuming is the ZooMed tube. This is 5000K which is OK, but plants do respond better to light around 6500K. So as you need to replace this anyway, I recommend the ZooMed UltraSun which is 6700K. This is a very good tube. You will see a bit sharper, crisper white, but once you're used to it, I think you will like it. It also offers a true rendition of fish and plant colours.

This tube could also be a part of the problem, from the spectrum perspective and the intensity. This tube (FloraSun) is actually weaker intensity than the UltraSun and comparable tubes. The 6700K will drive photosynthesis better, especially when you add Flourish Comprehensive, and this actually keeps algae at a disadvantage. Also, the weakening I see in the sword is likely due both to nutrients and light; this plant needs brighter light than what the single FloraSun is providing.

One comment on the Anubias, are the rhizomes well above the substrate? If they are not, this can cause the plant to weaken.

Byron.

Kelley 09-11-2012 06:55 PM

Thank you Byron. I really appreciate your input and will give your sugestions a try. The anubis' rhizome is not under the substrate. I was careful not to do that.

Kelley


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